Easter trade a mixed bag
Wednesday, 8th April, 2015
By Emily Roberts
There has been a mixed result from Easter trading, with some local businesses full to bursting and others saying they couldn’t justify opening.
Sampson’s shoe store owner, Peter Nash, said Easter trading was important for the city and hoped that penalty rates wouldn’t scare off businesses.
Mr Nash said both Sampson’s and Torpy’s had good days on Saturday.
“We also opened for the first time on Easter Monday, from 10am to 2pm, and it was fairly quiet, but it really needs a united approach to work,” he said yesterday.
“There are still thousands of people in Broken Hill who don’t go on holidays at Easter, so they are all potential shoppers with recreational time on their hands.”
Mr Nash said it would be good if all stores could open to attract visitors and locals alike.
“As a tourist destination Broken Hill needs to be ‘open for business’. I don’t open on the religious days - Good Friday and Easter Sunday - but the other two days should be seen by all businesses, that cater for tourists, as days to open.
“There are 52 weeks in the year to have a four-day break as a retailer if you need one - it’s not smart picking one when Broken Hill is bursting at the seams with tourists wanting to spend money.
“I had no problem getting staff to work. It was totally optional but pays very well.”
But not all were as lucky. ‘Thom, Dick and Harry’s’ owner Paul Whitehouse said the holiday was hit and miss.
“I can’t afford the penalty rates,” he said. “It would have been very ‘iffy’.
“I’ve opened in the past with just family members and my partner helping me and business had been slow.
“It was too hard.”
Mr Whitehouse said he hadn’t received any feedback about being closed.
“I think Broken Hill people are trained to assume most things are closed.
“My previous attempts at opening have shown I just can’t make the amount of money I need to spend on staff.
“I couldn’t justify opening.
“I was really busy on Thursday and yesterday. We are getting a lot of visitors for the school holidays; which is good.”
Manager at the Lake View Caravan Park, Karen DeFranceschi, said they were busy over the weekend.
“It was busier than we had been, but our biggest time is the July holidays,” she said.
“It’s just a normal routine for us. I think most people expect things to be open.”
Coles Store Manager Peter Weiss said the business was open Saturday and Monday and they were happy they did.
“We had a lot of customers, mostly on Saturday, travelling through,” he said.
“They were happy we were open and the staff were happy to work.”
Alfresco’s had a very good weekend and were open throughout the holidays.
“It was very busy, we had a very good weekend,” co-owner Mark Perry said.
“We always stay open throughout Easter because we get a lot of visitors.
“We also stay open in the hope it will encourage visitors to come back throughout the year.”
Mr Perry said it can be expensive with wages, but he believed it helped them throughout the year.
“A lot of visitors said they were happy we were open. A lot were staying at places that didn’t have breakfast or their restaurants weren’t open.
“Our staff are really good and they are happy to help out.
“It was a really good Easter. There were so many visitors.”
Adkins store manager, Shane Stacey, said they attracted plenty of customers by being open on Saturday.
“It was a really good weekend, we had 250 customers at both our stores,” he said. A lot of people were catching up on things they had to do.
“I think we will open again next year.”